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The Texas Heart Journal



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Carotid stenosis/stenting/surgery, embolic protection devices, endarterectomy, carotid, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials as topic, registries, reviews as topic


For about 2 decades, investigators have been comparing carotid endarterectomy with carotid artery stenting in regard to their effectiveness and safety in treating carotid artery stenosis. We conducted a systematic review to summarize and appraise the available evidence provided by randomized trials, meta-analyses, and registries comparing the clinical outcomes of the 2 procedures. We searched the MEDLINE, SciVerse Scopus, and Cochrane databases and the bibliographies of pertinent textbooks and articles to identify these studies.

The results of clinical trials and, consequently, the meta-analyses of those trials produced conflicting results regarding the comparative effectiveness and safety of carotid endarterectomy and carotid stenting. These conflicting results arose because of differences in patient population, trial design, outcome measures, and variability among centers in the endovascular devices used and in operator skills. Careful appraisal of the trials and meta-analyses, particularly the most recent and largest National Institutes of Healthsponsored trial (the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy vs Stenting Trial [CREST]), showed that carotid stenting and endarterectomy were associated with similar rates of death and disabling stroke. Within the 30-day periprocedural period, carotid stenting was associated with higher risks of stroke, especially for patients aged >70 years, whereas carotid endarterectomy was associated with a higher risk of myocardial infarction. The slightly higher cost of stenting compared with endarterectomy was within an acceptable range by cost-effectiveness standards. We conclude that carotid artery stenting is an equivalent alternative to carotid endarterectomy when patient age and anatomy, surgical risk, and operator experience are considered in the choice of treatment approach.



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